NAIROBI, Kenya, May 15 – The Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo has extended the deadline for Mandera residents to surrender illegally held firearms to the end of the week.
Kimaiyo said 10 firearms and 463 rounds of ammunition had been surrendered by the end of Tuesday, following a directive he gave on Sunday.
“Following the directive I issued when I visited Rhamu in Mandera County with other senior security officers, 4 AK-47s, 4 Carbine, 1 MG and 1 Sterling patchet have been surrendered.”
National Police Service Spokesman Masoud Mwinyi said the deadline was extended because Kenyans tend to wait until the last minute to do things: “Remember these arms were surrendered yesterday (Tuesday) and the initial deadline was today.”
The Inspector General said he gave the directive given the rise in clan fighting in the county and attacks on security agents the latest of which took place on Friday night resulting in one fatality.
The attack occurred just hours after Deputy President William Ruto announced the deployment of the Kenya Defence Forces to the area.
The officers policing the area, Kimaiyo said, will also be provided with body armour and night-vision goggles to enable them better perform their duties.
“We expect that we will in the near future equip our officers in all the frontier areas with sufficient and appropriate gear which will help them combat insecurity more efficiently and effectively,” Kimaiyo said.
The Inspector General of Police and his force have come under criticism for the rise in insecurity in the country especially in Western Kenya where residents have been terrorised by gangs moving from home to home stabbing people in the past few weeks.
Kimaiyo has defended himself against the claims, saying fatalities as a result of the crime wave have been greatly exaggerated.
“The unfortunate fatal attack of a senior member of the Transition Authority and that of a police officer are the latest incidents of armed crime. These incidents are however attributed to normal crime and not organised killings as hinted.”
President Uhuru Kenyatta has acknowledged the rise in crime and said Sh4 billion will go to purchase of security equipment annually.